1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Strategy is about winning. The purpose of strategic planning is to guide management decisions towards superior performances in an establishment. Competitive advantage strategy acts as a vehicle for communication and coordination within an organization. Strategic planning and management has become more of a business word in the 21st century and in the new millennium than it ever was. Organizations have turned on to the strategic planning processes. For some, it meets stakeholders’ demands, for others, it was used to justify down-sizing and for an even smaller number, it was done because the organization truly understood the need for a strategic blueprint to guide the decision-making process towards superior performance in order to establish competitive edge.
All these are because of the way each of these organizations view and manage their strategic plans. Strategic planning is the key element to organizational success and effectiveness. This is because it is the pattern or theme that gives coherence to the decision of an organization. It helps to achieve consistency in decision-making. Nowadays, managers are faced with challenges posed by the competitive environment as a result of efficient and effective decision-making which demand a thorough and intelligent understanding of the various dimensions that impinges on corporate performance and success of the organization. These various dimensions concern question on how, what, where, when, who, whom, and why of those cognate issues, which if successfully managed, help in organizational success, growth and development. In addition to the relevant questions being asked, decisions have to be made in organizational units and functional units; since efficient integration of organizational and unit decisions ultimately determines corporate success, growth and development. Also important, are those variable which are not under the control of organizational executives, but, which substantially affect or determine organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore there is need for corporate organization and executive to have adequate understanding of these relevant functions determined, applied, and monitored for organizational survival growth and development.
Finally, according to Stath and Grigshy (1997:8), strategic planning refers to managerial decisions that relate the organization to its environment, guide internal activities, and determine organizational long-term performance. The principal responsibility of the practising manager is to ensure that the organization keeps in touch with the external environment; it must also see the essence of management in terms of service to customers.
David (1991: 1) therefore defined strategic planning as the art and science of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-section business decisions that enable an organization to achieve its objectives.
Armstrong (1982:10) suggests that the specification of objectives and goals is regarded as a major aspect of formal planning. Strategy is not only being efficient, it is critically concerned with enabling the organization to be effective.
According to Drucker (1974:55), the prime task of strategic management is mediating through the overall mission of a business, i.e. asking the question “what is our business?”. This leads to setting objectives, development of strategies and making of today’s decision for tomorrow’s result. This should be carried out by balancing the present objectives and needs against those of the future in the light of available resources of men and materials.
Thompson (1995:101), states that if companies are to succeed they must adopt strategies appropriate for the circumstance they face, feasible in their resources, skills, and capabilities that are desirable to their stakeholders.
The bank can only be effective if it has awareness of and is responsive to the environment in which it operates. However, it is worthwhile emphasizing that the concepts of strategy has a dynamic component. It implies effectiveness and efficiency and it also implies responsiveness, developing awareness of environmental changes and identifying appropriate and effective reaction to the changes.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria, the banking environment of which UBA Plc plays active roles, has been facing stiff competition of increasing magnitude, brought about by the changes in government policies of deregulation, privatization, re-capitalization and globalization that cut across all corners of the globe. This has brought down profit margin and justified labour turnover. In order to redress the situation that has also affected effectiveness and service delivery, the bank has adopted effective strategic planning culture.
1.3 RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY
The main objective of the research is to determine the impact of strategic planning as a tool for change in a dynamic business environment. Other objectives of the research work include:
- Ascertaining that strategic planning affects business operations.
- Identification of dynamism of business environment and how managers swiftly respond to this considering the ever demanding and changing nature of the industry.
- Identifying the common purpose of the strategic planning process.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions will be answered in the course of the study: